Giant's Causeway Red Trail
The Red Trail at the Giant's Causeway is a bracing clifftop walk with spectacular views of the world-famous Causeway Coast and North Channel. From the Red Trail you'll have the option to walk to the Amphitheatre viewpoint (five minutes); joining the Causeway Coast Way (Yellow Trail) at top of Shepherd's Steps; or taking a circular trail by joining the Blue Trail.
Car Park 1
Assume your starting point in front of the Causeway Hotel. Facing the hotel entrance, turn right and walk in the direction of the Visitor Centre. You'll see the sloping grass roof of the Visitor Centre; providing no conservation work is in progress, you can cut across the roof and pick up signs for the Red Trail from the rear. There's a wooden plinth with a map and directions.
Visitor Centre roof
The thick glass panels in the Visitor Centre act as a source of light to the cavernous interior. Visitors can also peer down at people below and others can wave up at them!
Continue along the visible path and up a steep hill leading to Weir Snout. Look for the viewfinder to get more information on the views from this point.
Get a bird's-eye view of the causeway bays from the Red Trail which runs along the clifftop. From this point and to your left, you'll get a view of the Giant's Causeway and bays. The rock outcrop stretching into the sea is the Grand Causeway.
Following the visible trail from the Weir Snout viewpoint (away from the Visitor Centre) you'll arrive on top, but inland from, the headland known as the Aird. You'll see boulders which act as a deterrent to people walking out on to this headland. This area is spectacular, but extremely dangerous, particularly in high winds. It's not fenced off and we urge visitors to exercise due caution.
In the fields opposite the Aird, you may hear the call of the stonechat. It's similar to the sound of two stones being hit together. They're small birds, with distinctive black heads and white necks. There's lots of other wildlife to spot in the surrounding heath and grasses (which are full of insects and foodstuff!).
At this point along the path, you'll come to the top of the Shepherd's Steps. Onwards, the path becomes the Yellow Trail and leads to the Hamilton's Seat, taking in an aerial view of the Amphitheatre. To follow the Red Trail, descend the steps from the clifftop. When you get to the bottom of the steps, you can choose to follow the trail towards the Organ, or turn left and head towards the Grand Causeway, linking to the Blue Trail.
These are 162 steep steps - once a rough narrow 'rodden' passable only by sheep and their sure-footed shepherds. The steps are not for the faint-hearted!
Car Park 1
You made it
Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.